Saturday, April 24, 2010

Earth Day Fair!

The Big Boat set off on its maiden voyage today. I sewed and sewed and packed up and set up at Wargo Nature Center in Centerville, MN. The Earth Day clean-up in the morning was a bit of a wash-out due to rain, but the Fair was almost all indoors and lots of fun! The 4-H had a rock painting station, and the Girl Scouts painted faces! One of the naturalists did a Raptor show with his special guest, a Red Tailed Hawk named "Bet." There were lots of good things to see and do.

I brought my Totes and Baskets, Lunch Wraps and Snac Sacs. The big hit was the "color your own bookmark" station with 2x4 inch strips of burlap and markers. I had many very nice comments on my handiwork, and really had a great time meeting people.

In case you're wondering, the backdrop display is a cardboard box, opened up and painted with leftover wall paint. I drew The Big Boat, and the picture in marker and used a bit of acrylic paint on the boat/globe. Very easy and very "Green" There are empty coffee bags for the tablecloth. Easy to carry, and good-looking.

Now I know I  can do a fair! Look out world, here I come!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Nature's Beauty in the Suburbs

Yep, we live in the suburbs, no cabin in the woods for us yet, but we can still find lots of Nature on the short walk to the bus stop.These baby spruce cones are so vividly purple, and some of them look like strawberries among the branches..

Azaleas, I believe! A whole purple pink bush of flowers right under the front window!
The crab apple tree in bloom. M wondered if this tree produced fruit for crabs. I can't find the entymology of crabapple, I just told her the very bitter, little apples made people crabby! (perhaps we'll try some jelly this fall)

Look around your neighborhood for signs of nature! Plant something, in a pot, in the garden, or even in your soul. Here's my favorite Spring poem.

in just-

    in Just-
    spring       when the world is mud-
    luscious the little
    lame balloonman
    whistles       far       and wee
    and eddieandbill come
    running from marbles and
    piracies and it's
    when the world is puddle-wonderful
    the queer
    old balloonman whistles
    far       and       wee
    and bettyandisbel come dancing
     from hop-scotch and jump-rope and
    balloonMan       whistles
    e.e. cummings

Monday, April 19, 2010

You could win SnapWare Glass Lock!

I'm getting tired of plastic leftover storage. I love the ease of cleaning glass, and the weight of it. Earlier I was reminded of these:

My Mom has them in her cupboards and uses them all the time! So simple, and the vintage patterns are fabulous! I'm going to keep an eye out for more this spring! But until I find some, I'm entering Sweet Greens Earth Week giveaway for SnapWare GlassLock! I've got a couple SnapWare that I love, so finding them is glass is even better!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

 Peace be with you!
My peace I leave with you

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


M's preschool is having a basket raffle soon, and the one for her class is themed "Move It". I wanted to make something fun for the basket that would get kids moving, outside if possible. I came up with a new hopscotch game I'm calling Alphastones.

A while ago I saw a post on making little pyramid bean bags at Ikat Bag.  She knew them from her childhood in Singapore, so I made a set for my cousins who lived there for a while.

The concept is so simple, take a rectangle of fabric and sew a square pocket. Turn and fill with beans and sew shut. But instead of making a flat bag, you sew the last seam perpendicular to the bottom and it comes out in triangles! I keep getting little stone shaped pieces when I square up the corners on my bags, so I made some orange and green ones at Easter that have turned into pincushions.

This time I made 7 stones, from 3in X 6in scraps of denim. (No new jeans were harmed in the making of these stones, all the jeans had huge holes in the knees!) Then I painted the letters of the alphabet on the sides with fabric paint. All the letters are there, plus an extra A and U for good measure!

Here are the rules:
Draw a grid on the driveway with chalk, putting all the letters in the squares.
You can do this in any order, QWERTY if you have a keyboard handy for reference, or whatever.
One player is the "Jumper" and they stand near, or on, the grid.
One player is the "Caller" he tosses the AlphaStones in the air, then picks up each stone and calls out the letter on the bottom, and a form of movement.

So, the Caller may say "jump to letter N" and the Jumper will jump! Or hop, spin, wiggle, whatever.

Here is the command "Fly to letter K." I'll put the stones in a little bag and write up the directions. I've already got one more set on the sewing machine to keep at home.

By the way, helmets are not required, unless you are riding your bike in-between rounds of the game.

Monday, April 12, 2010


It is a sign of warmer weather, when I actually light the chiminea, and get out all the supplies for s'mores. This year, I made home made graham crackers, so I had to light the fire for the first s'mores of the season.

 See, they were so good I couldn't even get a picture before Jonah took a bite out of his.

the recipe came from Angry Chicken, with a couple adjustments. They were wonderful, much better than store bought, and we could cut them in any shape we wanted. This will be my go-to animal cracker option! I made the squares a bit small for S.mores, yumm!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Spring has Sprung

Each petal perfectly aligned with it's neighbors, in colors that artists and photographers struggle to reproduce. A flower is a celebration of creation in miniature.

Spring is here, and the world in central Minnesota is waking up again. The kids are playing outside and neighborhoods seem to be occupied for the first time since the snow started piling up.

Today, a good friend of mine is ready to receive her own spring. She is prepped and ready for a new heart.A real beating heart, to replace the one she has that is tired and broken.

It is a bittersweet beginning, in the knowing that one life has ended, and in ending has gifted her with beginning. Like the end of winter coming with the spring.

Peace, to the family who's gift has brought life, and Hope, to the family who is beginning anew!